With the events of 2020 driving the postponement of Heatherton’s ISI inspection, the news in October of a pending 4 day compliance and education quality inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) was received with happiness and relief as the time had finally come to show off officially the excellent educational experience the girls and boys receive at Heatherton.
The educational quality inspection reports on the achievements of the pupils, including their academic and personal development, and was described as “excellent” throughout the report.
“The available evidence from lesson observations, scrutiny of pupils’ work, and the school’s own assessment data, show attainment to be well above the national average age-related expectations, including English and Mathematics.” Inspectors also noted that the pupils’ attitude to learning is “exceptional”.
Heatherton’s commitment to treating each pupil as an individual was also greatly recognised by the inspectors. “Pupils benefit from leaders’ regular monitoring of attainment and progress, where data is used extremely effectively to identify pupils’ needs at any early stage and takes into account of the individual pupils’ learning requirements through personalised planning.”
The Inspectors commented that the pupils have an “extremely well-developed sense of belief and self-confidence” and show “humility and empathy towards others”. Their personal development was said to be partially due to the “close and productive relationships they maintain with staff and peers” and through staff “carefully monitoring their welfare”.
School Values and Aims
We are particularly proud that the values of Berkhamsted: to aim high with integrity; to be adventurous; and to serve others were all positively acknowledged and praised by the inspectors as being visible in every part of the school, highlighting Heatherton’s continuous commitment to ensuring that the school is providing the best all-round education for the pupils.
It was recognised the Teachers’ “insistence on high expectations ensures that pupils strive from, and achieve, high standards in their learning and gain skills that enable them to make positive transitions within their school and to their senior schools.”
“Pupils show a high degree of confidence and enjoyment in their learning and willing to take risks.”
Inspectors noted that pupils make “outstanding contributions to the lives of others within the school” and are “exceptional in their ability to work together and support each other”, which is a true testament to our school value to ‘Serve Others’.
Nicola Nicoll, the Headteacher at Heatherton, remarked, “The girls have been their usual wonderful selves, and the inspectors have thoroughly enjoyed speaking to them in lessons and in separate groups to find out more about their views. We are incredibly proud of them. I must also say a public and huge thank you to the incredible team we have here; Teachers, TAs, Office staff, Catering, Caretaking, Peris, Cleaners, every single one has done their part to show off just how remarkable Heatherton is, and I am so grateful for their passion and their willingness to go above and beyond.”
The short notice inspection of Heatherton took place between 12-15 October 2021. The focus of the inspection was compliance and educational quality requirements.